The Supreme Court has determined that Florida’s robbery statute qualifies as a violent felony under the Armed Career Criminal Act (ACCA). The Court determined that violent felonies encompass “robbery offenses that require the criminal to overcome the victim’s resistance.”
The force necessary to overcome a victim’s physical resistance is inherently violent and suggests “a degree of power that would not be satisfied by the merest touching.” “This is true because robbery that must overpower a victim’s will—even a feeble or weak-willed victim—necessarily involves a physical confrontation and struggle. The altercation need not cause pain or injury or even be prolonged; it is the physical contest between the criminal and the victim that is itself ‘capable of causing physical pain or injury.”
Given the similarity between the definition of the definition of a crime of violence in the immigration context and a violent felony under the ACCA, this decision could have persuasive impact in the immigration context.
The full text of Stokeling v. United States can be found here: